May 17-23, 2020, is Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. This year’s theme for EMS Week, “Ready Today, Preparing For Tomorrow” is appropriate given our current statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic. EMS providers (including EMTs, paramedics, emergency nurses and physicians, 9-1-1 dispatchers, and EMS educators) have been on the front line of Arizona’s COVID-19 response since day one.

When our colleges closed in-person classwork, our educators had to find a way to keep the student pipeline open. When PPE was in short supply, EMS agencies revised operations to reduce the amount of PPE used on each call.  When clinical care needed to be revised to reduce exposure, EMS medical directors devised changes in care and educated thousands of EMTs and paramedics.

This flexibility exhibited by Arizona’s EMS providers exemplifies the quality of care we have come to expect from an organization that is Ready Today and Prepared for Tomorrow. On behalf of our Bureau of EMS and Trauma System and the entire Arizona Department of Health Services team I want to thank you for your continued service to all Arizonans!